Cleaning Your Home

No matter how long you have been on JET it is likely you have accumulated and inherited a lot of things.

Don’t be that predecessor who is remembered as leaving behind nothing but filth and rubbish. You probably have your own horror stories from your arrival in Saga about things you found waiting for, or that you discovered when they started to smell.

Break the filth cycle with these dos and don’ts for better living:


  • Start early: Remember that certain types of garbage are only collected once a month (non-burnable, glass, P.E.T, paper, etc) don’t get caught out and miss your last specific garbage day.
    • Give yourself at least a month to dispose the all the different types rubbish in your home.
    • If there’s still a bit of rubbish in your home that you can’t dispose of before leaving, sort it into the right bags and let your successor know when it can be put out.
    • Decide what you will be selling or giving to other JETs, taking/sending home with you and what needs to be disposed of.
    • List items you want to get rid of on Facebook.
  • Just do it: Get started early and it won’t turn into a nightmare the week before you leave Japan. Your successor will likely be exhausted when they get to Saga – the last thing the want to be doing, or should be doing, is cleaning up your mess and signs of life.
  • Ask your CO: Find out if your successor will get a new futon or set of bedding, or if you will need to have your futon dry cleaned/or dispose. See if there is any unnecessary items that belong to your CO that you can return.
  • Repairs: Let your CO know about any repairs or damage in your home that need fixing. They might also have maintenance plans of their own such as replacing tatami, etc.
  • Go professional if needed: Your CO might require you to have your apartment professionally cleaned, or if you want to save time and energy and your apartment is extremely dirty, or if there are parts of your apartment that you cannot clean yourself don’t hesitate to get them in. Your CO can probably recommend who to use.


  • Hide: Stuffing garbage or other things away in your closets and cupboards is rude and lazy. Sell, trade, gift, or dispose of anything you are not taking.
  • Assume: Somethings should be obvious, but don’t assume your successor wants all your stuff, especially random things you probably haven’t used, have been accumulated from previous predecessors. Talk to them about what you will leave them. Dispose of anything they don’t want or won’t need.
  • Don’t leave things like:
    • CLAIR study material – your successor will receive their own soon.
    • Clothing and other personal items – take with you or dispose of.
    • Toiletries/cosmetics – these can just burden your successor and new things can be picked up easily upon arrival.
    • Random books/magazines/newspapers – even if you inherited them, give them away or put them out in your next paper garbage day.
    • Broken appliances, furniture, or plates/utensils – get rid of them on a non-burnable day.
    • Things you have sold to other JETs – get it to them before you leave.
    • Food in the fridge and garbage that isn’t sorted.


Starting early will give you both peace of mind as you go through the many motions of departure, will also let you enjoy a cleaner home for your remaining time.

Plus your successor will forever be grateful to you :-D.